Tag Archive DOST

Trash, Trash, Trash!

Trash is everywhere! We tend to categorize trash into two piles – Bio-Degradable and Non-Biodegradable. Either way, tons of TRASH are being put into Manila Bay each and everyday! Guess what? The Bay is spitting it back on us! Recently there was a huge storm surge. The storm surge deposited over 1,900 TONS OF TRASH onto Roxas Boulevard. The U.S. Embassy was affected to the point it closed operations. After the storm surge – the city was complaining “During storm-related calamities, the volume increases five-fold and include water damaged appliances and furniture.” This was a direct quote taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer of August 15, 2012. Today, there is no more news about trash although tons are still being dumped each and everyday into the bay. Additionally, I recently wrote about a dinner cruise I had the pleasure of taking on the beautiful bay – halfway during the dinner cruise, the smell was so overpowering no one could continue their eating! I would guess that included in the two kinds of general trash is now a third category – human waste! It is sometimes reported that there are over 20 tons of trash being dumped into the bay everyday. Pictures are occasionally found in the local papers and TV news reports of children ”walking” on water – across the trash.

I would suspect, and my research bears out that there are many places in the world where corruption and negligence plays a huge role in disease, fouling drinking water, and making living conditions horrible for millions of people. Corruption? Yep, it is a dirty little secret here in the Philippines that many Mayors take a cut of each truck load of trash – and the trash is not deposed of properly. Negligence? Yep – law enforcement does not enforce the laws – either because they too are on the take or they don’t have the necessary tools and assets to stop the known pollution! Lets take for a minute the human waste being dumped into the Manila Bay – how many ships are in the bay – where is the enforcement for when those ships dump their loads? Where is the enforcement when developers just dump raw sewage into the bay? The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has some innovative, cost effective methods of turning trash into reusable materials – both biodegradable and non-biodegradable.

The “Zero-Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines” also has some tremendous methods of turning trash into usable products. How come there is no movement to use these cost effective techniques to rid ourselves of the trash? I would suspect that once the politicians are exposed for the harm they are doing to the environment – and thereby people – all in the name of money in their pocket – the system will change. Until the system changes and the politicians are brought to bear for their actions, and the companies that are knowingly ignoring laws and regulations are brought to justice, we will continue to have massive pollution, sickness, and problems!

There are systems right now in Manila that can recycle ALL trash into cement blocks or charcoal. These systems can also be used as livelihood programs! Lets all think about it for a moment and just start asking questions. There are solutions! Many other countries and cities have found the will to change and have clean, productive, and most of all lasting environments! How about us?